Saturday, 16 July 2011
tea where you might not expect it
A weekend in a little bitty village (in the Ostallgäu region of Bavaria) called Pfronten. Fantastic hiking in summer and purportedly equally good skiing in winter, but I brought all the tea I'd need with me from home. It's not a big place. The shopping options were bound to be slim.
Upon arriving late Friday afternoon, I decided to take a walk into the town, and as I was peering into windows, I told myself, 'You might find a gift shop with some tea of questionable quality, but there's little or no chance of a real tea shop here.' Less than three minutes later, my eyes found the above-pictured door. That's a bonafide tea shop. I was pleasantly surprised.
Went in, looked around, chatted with the friendly tea-seller. The conversation consisted mostly of me saying how dumbfounded I was that there was a shop selling loose-leaf tea in such an out of the way village.
The woman laughed as she said that many people had expressed the opinion that a shop that sold only tea would never be successful. It was exactly the same thing that I'd recently heard (here) from Thia McKann at The Path of Tea.
Luckily, it wasn't to be the case. The shop is doing so well that they've expanded next door and are opening a Tee Stube (the German word for tea salon). I assured the woman that when I come back to Pfronten next year, I would be very excited to visit the Tee Stube.
Below is a photo of the wonderfully displayed tea tins. The likelihood that someone reading this blog will ever be visiting Pfronten down in southwestern Bavaria is small. But if you happen to be there, I have a tea shop for you that I can highly recommend.
If you'd like to see the website or peruse their tea selection, here they are: Elkes Teeshop. There's an Irish saying at the bottom of the opening page, and I like it so much, I'll translate it below.
'Whoever wants to be king, tea is the queen.'